When you invest a bit more time into researching the best kitten food (and you invest just a little more money), it makes a huge difference in the health and well-being of your kitty.
We’re not talking about choosing the most popular kitten food but rather the best kitten food in terms of quality of the ingredients.
In our guide below, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top choice of kitty owners and show you what to look for as you’re shopping.
“You are what you eat,” as the saying goes, and it is no different for animals. The only difference is that domestic animals such as kitties can’t choose their food, so it’s up to you to do all of the research!
Before You Select
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right kitten food:
- Wet or Dry. Newly weaned kittens will probably start off with wet food as they get used to chewing harder kibble.
You might need to have both wet and dry on hand for a few months until they make the adjustment to dry food only.
Both have proper nutritional value for kitties, so you may prefer to continue using wet food into adulthood. One of the benefits of these is that they can help provide more moisture to cats who don’t make regular trips to the water supply.
- Allergies. While it’s hard to determine if a kitten has any allergies since they are still so young, you should keep an eye out for any sort of allergic reactions any time a new food is presented.
Being natural carnivores, it’s best to start kitty off with a quality grain-free food. Grain-filled foods cause a heap of skin problems and digestive problems, but we do realize that some cats with sensitive stomachs usually end with a food that contains them since they’re gentler on the stomach.
When and if possible, go grain-free!
Top 10 Kitten Foods Table
|1. Solid Gold Indigo Moon Holistic Grain Free Dry Cat Food||12 lbs.||$$$||4.8|
|2. Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Cat Food 5 Lbs||5 lbs.||$$$$||4.7|
|3. Ideal Balance Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food||6 lbs.||$||4.6|
|4. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Pate Wet Cat Food||24 pack (3oz. cans)||$$||4.6|
|5. Fussie Cat Premium Variety Pack - Canned Cat Food||28 pack (2.8 oz. cans)||$$$||4.5|
|6. Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dry Cat Food||5.1 lbs.||$$||4.5|
|7. Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Kitten Formula||6 lbs.||$||4.5|
|8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Kitten Food||5 lbs.||$||4.4|
|9. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Dry Cat Food||4 lbs.||$||4.3|
|10. Wellness Complete Health Natural Canned Grain Free Wet Pate Cat Food||24 pack (3 oz. cans)||$$$||4.2|
You’ve probably heard or read how important it is to introduce new foods to animals slowly, but how many of you actually do it?
It really does make a big difference on your kitty’s digestive system and it’s also important to watch for any sort of negative reaction that you kitty might have to the food.
- Find Out Their Current Food. If you’ve rescued a kitten from a pound or shelter, then it may have already been presented with a variety of food brands (donations vary, so it’s hard for a shelter to be consistent).
Find out the last food that the kitten has eaten and by a small bag of that for their arrival at your home and have a second bag of your preferred “transition” food brand that you plan to feed them.
- Young Kittens. Young kittens who may have lost a mother or have been abandoned and require nightly care will require special food.
Talk with your vet if you have a little kitten that has been weaned from its mother too soon to find out the appropriate food. Cow’s milk is never an appropriate substitute and shouldn’t be given to adult cats, either. They have problems digesting milk once they’ve been weaned and it can cause diarrhea.
Adult vs Kitten Food
Some brands make kitten-specific formulas while others print “adult & kitten” food on the bag.
Just check the back to make sure that it has a recommended serving size based on the weight of the kitten.
If your kitten hasn’t yet reached the minimum weight on the feeding guideline, then they are still probably too young to eat it (meaning that it’s best for adults and not kittens).
We’ll be showing you the ingredient labels of the five best kitten food brands below, so here are a few things to look for.
- The First 3 Ingredients. Did you know that food manufacturers list ingredients on their food labels in order of weight? The first three make up the majority of the food itself, so if you don’t like what you see in the first three, put it back on the shelf.
- Taurine. This is a good ingredient. It’s an amino acid that helps metabolize fats, making it an essential part of your kitten’s diet. A deficiency in taurine can create problems such as heart failure or blindness, so you want to make sure your kitty is getting enough from their food.
- Corn, Soy, Grains.As we mentioned, grains can cause quite a few problems in your little carnivorous friends, and so can corn and soy.If you see them on the label, it’s probably best to find a different brand.
Top 5 Best Kitten Food Reviews
Solid Gold is probably the best kitten food (and adult cat food) out there. This is a grain-free and gluten-free formula that you can feed to both kittens and adults with smaller sized kibbles that are easier for the little ones to chew.
Here is a look at the ingredients:
We really like what we see here. The first three ingredients are good followed by plenty of other healthy fruits, veggies and vitamins.
The flavor is a hit with kitties and even though it does cost more, it’s well worth it if you want a happy, healthy kitty!
Orijen is a Canadian brand that is known for it’s quality, both for cat food and dog food.
They definitely have some of the most expensive food, but they really focus on the quality ingredients:
Chicken is the main ingredient, along with a bit of fish and turkey. This is another dry food that can be given to both cats and kittens, just be sure to check the feeding guide. Kitties love the flavor!
Not everyone can splurge on this brand, so if it’s too expensive, check out some of the other alternatives below.
Hill’s is more affordable and still has plenty of excellent ingredients. This is probably the most popular choice for kittens since it’s much more affordable than the other choices.
Rice isn’t our top choice as a filler, but it’s great for sensitive stomachs. Here are the rest of the ingredients:
Try it with your kitten to see if they like it. If not, there are some other great dry food options in our table above!
As we mentioned, some wet food can help little kittens who struggle with kibble to get the nutrition they need as they learn to break down those little nuggets.
This comes as a pâté rather than a chunky wet food and it is grain-free. It’s also free of corn, wheat, soy, chicken by-products, artificial preservatives, artificial colors and artificial flavors.
This is designed for indoor kittens who don’t get as much exercise as outdoor kittens. If you have an outdoor kitten, you might like the next brand.
Fussie Cat is another great canned food brand. It does cost a bit more, but it’s good stuff and kitties love the flavor. This is appropriate for both adults and kittens, all with Tuna as the main ingredient.
As a variety pack, it’s hard to show you all of the individual ingredients in each flavor here, but you can check out their kitten feeding guideline to help you determine portions: